If you’re a sports fan, take heart—the future is bright.
If you’re involved with producing or broadcasting sports—times are changing.
As the players in the TV industry jockey for position in this new era of broadcasting and narrowcasting, sports is emerging as a true winner (pun intended). People still watch quite a bit of television (up to five hours a day). The communal experience of TV sports is one reason.
The good news is that technology advancements encourage this behavior rather than take away from it. In the future, sports organizations will stream their games over their own delivery channels, opening up a world of opportunity.
Imagine international match ups like the Czech Republic hockey team against the best of the NHL. Or the hometown team playing football on Friday night with camera views provided by drones and instant, on-demand replays sponsored by the local car dealer.
In a hyper-augmented future, sensors woven into players’ uniforms and headgear bridge the gap between watching sports and gaming. Viewers experience impacts and monitor opponents’ vital signs during crucial moments in the game. The fan experience is dramatically more participatory and immersive.
You can see a glimpse of this future in WWE’s launch of the first 24/7 direct-to-consumer sports network, detailed in a Forbes article earlier this year. The network crossed the 1 million subscriber mark in late January and contributed $27.2 million to quarterly earnings. Sure, the company’s pay-per-view revenue is down, but this is expected as the industry transitions.
The best news is what all this means for advertisers: the ability to send the right message at the right time to the right target. Using metadata, advertisers can personalize messages down to the customer level—a Ford owner sees that company’s logo on the quarterback’s helmet while a Jeep owner sees the iconic grill.